The Community Development Agency, including all listed divisions, will continue operations at limited capacity, effective March 18, 2020: Business License, Code Enforcement, Planning & Economic Development, Development & Inspections, Erosion Control, and Zoning. All front-facing divisions are following special procedures explained in this article.
The area that is now Cobb County was once a part of the Cherokee and Creek Nations. In 1832, the State Legislature passed an act creating Cobb County. This area has diverse collection of historic sites that dates from prehistoric times to the modern era. Ancient Indian sites, Civil War battle fortifications, the earliest industrial sites and rural farmhouses are among Cobb’s precious cultural legacy.
Cobb County has been one of the fastest growing counties in the State of Georgia. Because of growth, the county faced the challenge of preserving its rich past, while accommodating the demand for new development. Cobb answered the problem by creating an historic preservation ordinance.
The Historic Preservation Commission can nominate historic properties and cultural resources to the National Register of Historic Places. These nominations are made to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Historic Preservation Division (HPD) for consideration. Once the nominations are complete and acceptable to the HPD, they are forwarded to the National Park Service for final approval and listing in the official National Register. If an income-producing property is listed in the National Register, it could be eligible for federal tax credits. Properties that are listed in the National Register must be considered during projects that use federal money or require a federal permit.
The Historic Preservation Commission can also recommend sites to be listed in the Cobb County Register of Historic Places. The Cobb Register is the county’s list of designated historic landmarks and districts. The Cobb County Board of Commissioners has the final authority to approve the potential sites and decide whether or not they will be added to the Cobb Register.
In 1992, the county adopted a landmark historic property tax abatement program. Properties that are listed in the National Register and the Cobb Register may qualify for an eight-year tax assessment freeze.
After a site has been locally designated to the Cobb Register, the owner must obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) for any “material” changes to the exterior of the building or site.
The COA is obtained from the Historic Preservation Commission. During the certificate process, the determinations made by the HPC may be appealed to the Board of Commissioners. Owners can appeal the Board’s decision to Cobb Superior Court.
Cobb County Register of Historic Places (CCRHP)
Cobb County has an historic preservation ordinance that allows the county to designate properties as historic and list them in the Cobb County Register of Historic Places. These districts, buildings, or sites should:
- Have special character or special historic or aesthetic value or interest;
- Be an outstanding example of a structure representative of its era;
- Be one of the few remaining examples of past architectural style; or
- Be a place or structure associated with an event or person of historic or cultural significance to the county, state, or region.
Nominations to the Cobb Register go before the Historic Preservation Commission for their recommendation. The final decision is made by the Cobb County Board of Commissioners regarding the designation. Once a property is designated, any exterior “material” changes must be approved by the Historic Preservation Commission.
Cobb Register Nominations: Past and Present
Hill-Crowe-White House (Added to the Cobb County Register of Historic Places on November 27, 2018)
Brown-Loudermilk-Corey House (Added to the Cobb County Register of Historic Places on September 25, 2018)
Casteel-Nix-Volin House (Added to the Cobb County Register of Historic Places on September 25, 2018, Amendment Added February 2020)
New Friendship Baptist Church (Added to the Cobb County Register of Historic Places on February 28, 2017)
Shoupade Park (Added to the Cobb County Register of Historic Places on March 28, 2017)
Certificate of Appropriateness
Any exterior “material” changes to a property listed in the Cobb Register must be reviewed by the Cobb County Historic Preservation Commission (HPC). If the proposed changes meet the associated guidelines, then the Historic Preservation Commission will grant a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA). A property owner must obtain the COA before any work commences or before applying for a building permit. The goal of the required HPC review is to ensure that the historic character of the building and/or site remains intact. “Material” changes include any additions to the building; changing rooflines; replacement of doors, windows, siding, roofs or porches; or any changes that will alter the historic character of the property.
The Historic Preservation Commission will utilize the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Cobb County Historic Preservation Ordinance for review of changes to all Cobb Register properties, with the exception of the Clarkdale Mill Village Historic District, which has its own set of design guidelines. Links to these standards and guidelines are below.
The COA application and procedures can be found below. Please contact the Historic Preservation Planner with any questions.